KCETB Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board
Rialtas na hEireann Government of Ireland
Rialtas na hEireann Government of Ireland
Co-Funded by the European Union

Artistic delights at Grennan Mill Craft School student exhibition

(Mon. 30 May, 2022) – A cornucopia of artistic delights greeted visitors to Grennan Mill Craft School who came out to view and celebrate the more than 200 pieces crafted by 15 emerging craft makers at the school’s end-of-year exhibition on Friday night.

Jewellery, ceramics, textiles, prints and metalcraft were amongst the exhibition items on display at Grennan Mill Craft School, which is part of Ormonde College of Further Education. Ormonde College is operated and managed by Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB).

Guests were treated to a reception as they viewed craft on five levels of the 18th century mill that is home to Grennan Mill Craft School. The exhibition marks the school’s 41st year in operation and the teaching team said the night was something of a “delayed 40th celebration” as no tribute to the milestone year was possible, owing to the pandemic.  Attendees included parents, students, staff and members of the Thomastown community. Also present were KCETB chief executive Eileen Curtis and director of further education and training, Martha Bolger.

Founded in 1981, Grennan Mill Craft School is nationally and internationally renowned for its full-time programmes designed to give students an insight into the design and making of craft work. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) approved modules include ceramics, design drawing, metalcraft, printing and textile weaving. Students can progress to art college, become an apprentice in a particular craft or establish their own craft business. Well-known alumni include, sculptor Remco de Fouw, international jewellery designers Seamus Gill and Angela O’Kelly, ceramicist Susan O’Byrne and weaver Samantha Capatti.

Speaking about the exhibition, the deputy principal of Ormonde College of Further Education, John Kavanagh, said that the commitment and creativity of the graduating students has resulted in an exhibition of exceptional work.

“The pieces on display throughout the mill demonstrate an ability to produce works of great technical detail and ability, as well as beauty. The exhibition is a wonderful reflection of the standard of work at Grennan Mill Craft School and the talent and creativity of our students. They should feel very proud of what they have achieved”, said John Kavanagh.

Commenting on the exhibition, chief executive of KCETB Eileen Curtis said, “KCETB is delighted to support Grennan Mill Craft School which opened more than 40 years ago and is proud of the role it has played in shaping the landscape of craft, art and design in this country. Today, Grennan Mill continues to produce exceptionally talented craft makers, many of whom are nationally and internationally renowned, like sculptor Remco de Fouw and glass artist Sophie Longwill. I am grateful to the talented tutors at Grennan Mill Craft School who are so generous with their knowledge and time and who equip the students here – who apply from all of Europe – with the practical skills to develop careers in craft. I congratulate all of this year’s graduates and look forward to following the next chapter in their journey as craft makers.”

 KCETB manages and operates 13 post-primary schools, two colleges of further education and training, an extensive range of adult and community education services across Kilkenny and Carlow, as well as the co-ordination of youth services, and the promotion of music education through Music Generation.

The Grennan Mill Graft School exhibition is open to visitors this Saturday and Sunday (28, 29 May) from 10am to 6pm. Grennan Mill Craft School is now taking applications for its two-year course commencing in September. Enquiries to Ormonde College via www.ormondecollege.ie or by phoning 056 7763321.

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